The Boy Scouts of America invite shoppers at local grocery stores to support local food pantries between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Inland Empire communities from Colton and Grand Terrace to Banning along the Interstate 10 corridor and across the San Bernardino Valley.

The drive will start at 9 a.m. in the mountain communities of Lake Arrowhead, Blue Jay and Crestline.

The Gray Arrow District Boy Scouts will be “Scouting for Food” on Saturday, Oct. 19, collecting non-perishable food items from shoppers in these communities at grocery store entrances. Stater Bros., Albertsons, Food For Less, Walmart and Vons are the participating grocery stores in the greater San Bernardino Valley up into Banning Pass areas, while Jensen’s and Goodwin’s join Stater Bros. in the mountain communities.

Scouting for Food has been an annual “Good Turn” community service for America, performed by Scouts of all ages in the California Inland Empire Council since 2001. Collected food items are distributed to food pantries of local nonprofit agencies including the San Bernardino and Redlands Salvation Army Service offices, the Family Service Association of Redlands, its Yucaipa Outreach Project, as well as Yucaipa Family Assistance and H.E.L.P. Inc. in the Banning Pass.

In addition, donated food items are passed to Operation Provider in the mountain communities and for the second time this year to the Inland Empire Ronald McDonald House in Loma Linda. These agencies all provide emergency assistance that includes food distribution and other needed services to needy or disadvantaged and transitional families.

The area served by these agencies includes Colton, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, Redlands, Mentone, Yucaipa, Highland, Forest Falls, Angelus Oaks, Beaumont, Calimesa, Banning, San Bernardino, Devore, Lake Arrowhead, Blue Jay and Crestline. Food is especially needed this time of year as the weather cools and the pantries of these charities are at their lowest before the holidays.

Scouts in uniform will provide lists of suggested food items most needed by these service agencies as shoppers enter the stores. As shoppers exit the store, they can add their donations to large collection boxes. Collected food will be sorted and delivered to these local community agencies by Scouts, their parents, and adult Scout leaders of the Gray Arrow District, California Inland Empire Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Since its beginning in England in 1909, Scouting has been developing character in youth worldwide. If you have any questions in respect to our Scouting for Food program, please contact Ed Lucas, our Gray Arrow District “Scouting for Food” chairman for 2019 at either edmech02@msn.com or his cell: (951) 906-3713.